Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Something gross, something weird

Perfectly named?
San Francisco, CA
July 2008

Often after I had pulled one of my typically boneheaded childhood capers, my mother would sigh that deep sigh that only mothers can. Then she'd whisper half under her breath that we lived in a nuthouse.

I didn't give it much thought until I happened across this place on our way back to the hotel after dinner. At that point, I had been up for closing in on 24 hours and the combined effects of flying across the continent, wonky time zones, lingering memories of Lucie the airport security lady and a growing headache were really starting to affect my artistic judgment.

Which is why as I walked past this storefront, I think I thought it was funnier than it likely was. Still, it must be a hoot when employees answer the phone, or explain to their dates where they work.

The Choose Juicy sign, on the other hand, merely made me want to hurl. I'm all for irreverence in advertising. I get that we're bombarded with messages from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep. I appreciate that said messages are taking on increasingly creative forms to avoid fading into the background. I understand the advertiser's needs to stand out from the pack by sometimes pushing the envelope a little.

I'm a writer, after all. It's what I do, too, in a slightly different form.

But sometimes, a word or word combination just makes you want to go "ew". I realize this particular sign could be about Tropicana's latest product. But the connotation, the nudge-nudge wink-winkiness of it all just makes me wish I could get into Doc Brown's DeLorean for a bit and go back to a simpler time when the edges of the envelope weren't quite so out there for all to see.

All of this means, of course, that I've become an old curmudgeon, not entirely unlike the nasty neighbors who used to sit on their porches and scowl at us "noisy kids" as we played in the summer sun. Where's my lawn chair?

Your turn: Signs that push the bounds. Please discuss (and click here for more Thematic Photographic sign-themed insanity. Time's running out for this week's signs theme...I'll be posting the new theme tomorrow evening.

9 comments:

Kristi Mantoni said...

Love the Nut House!! I can't think of any signs around here that would qualify but I look forward to the next theme...maybe I'll finally have something!

Mojo said...

Carmi, you don't get to be a curmudgeon until after me. and I'm not done being a churlish disagreeable old man just yet.

And if the edges of the envelope weren't already out there, we'd put them out there soon enough. I really wish I could find my "Good Drugs" shot. I've prowled through every old box I can find and have come up with bupkes so far. It would have been perfect for this week's thematic.

Great shots as always! Looking forward to the next TP.

dianne - bunny trails said...

HA! Love the nuthouse. I would've been rolling had I seen that. :D

Choose Juicy? Hmm ... think that one's best left alone.

Indigo Children said...

The nuthouse---too funny. What makes it hilarious (to me) is that is our last name!

Carmi said...

Pause for administrative housecleaning

For some bizarre reason, Blogger deleted the three comments that I had already successfully moderated and approved. The system was undergoing maintenance in and around that time, so I suspect some of the changes they implemented then inadvertently killed these comments, too.

I'll repost them individually below. My apologies for the inconvenience.

Note: I'm not complaining. You get what you pay for, and Blogger is free. If this is as bad as it gets, I'll live. Thanks for your collective understanding.

Carmi said...

Posting on behalf of Dianne from Bunny Trails (http://bunny-trails.blogspot.com/):

HA! Love the nuthouse. I would've been rolling had I seen that. :D

Choose Juicy? Hmm ... think that one's best left alone.

Carmi said...

Something weird is going on with this entry. It's now posting the original comments as I submit new comments....but it's not posting the NEW comments that I'm writing.

I know, none of this makes sense. But I'll bet if I click "Publish Your Comment" now, the third and final "lost" comment will magically appear. Here goes...

Carmi said...

Whew. It worked. I can see Kristi's, Mojo's and Dianne's comments. I'll stop whining now :)

Carmi said...

Ooh, and one more...